Australia becomes the world’s largest exporter of LNG, leaving Qatar behind

It is the first time Australia has excelled Qatar in LNG exports. The rivalry for leadership will continue as Qatar intends to leave OPEC and plans to focus on gas.

Australia exported 0,3 million tons of liquefied natural gas more than Qatar in November this year. The new leader is going to verify its position by implementing a new project - Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude. Qatar will not surrender and is going to fulfill several projects as well to regain the top position by 2020.

Adding the fourth LNG production line is Qatar’s main strategy. It will help increase the capacity to 110 million tons per year by 2024. Qatar is also intending to leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to concentrate on gas exports.

LNG tanker

Analysts have different opinions towards the future. Nicholas Browne, Wood Mackenzie analyst, states that the reason why Qatar gave way to Australia is connected with maintenance and that Australia’s leadership is only temporary: Qatar can regain its leadership in December, producing 6,5 million tons. However Australia will again be the largest exporter by next summer. Credit Suisse’s Kavonic says for the reason that domestic gas prices have risen in Australia, in the near future there will be the opposition between Qatar and the USA.

Trends and forecasts for changing LNG infrastructure and prices will be observed at the upcoming 5th International LNG Congress in terms of Session 5 - “LNG Pricing and Trading”. The event is taking place on 29-30th of April, 2019 in St. Julian's, Malta.

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